Kuniko Katz's essays
and letters to the editors
Anti-Semitic writers in Japan-Dry up the pens of bigotry:
The Scarsdale Inquirer, Feb 16, 1990
To the Editor:
1 read with grate interest Professor Tsurumi’s article on Feb. 9 entitled "Japan bashing breeds anti‑Semitism." As Japanese, married to an American and living here, 1 am also deeply concerned with this recent phenomenon in Japan. 1 wrote about this in Japanese publications, and wish to share my opinions here because 1 think there is something we can do to combat this phenomenon together.
First, 1 would like you to know what the advocates of anti‑Semitism in Japan are saying about Jews and, in turn, the entire American people. In their so‑called "Jewish conspiracy" theories, they say that the Jews form 'behind‑the‑scenes nations" by dominating American politics, media, key professions and the economy. They state that America is a Jewish‑controlled nation and Japan bashing is a result of a conspiracy by international Jewish capital."
One of Japan's most ardent proponents of these "Jewish conspiracies," claims in his books and talks that the scope of killing of Jews in World War II was purposely exaggerated to manipulate public sympathies into adopting pro Israel attitudes that control foreign policies today. These authors give their readers simplistic answers as to who is fostering anti‑Japanese sentiments around the world. Apparently, they are quite successful in conveying their messages. Many readers in Japan have very little knowledge about Jews and seem to find relief in blaming someone else when they fear everybody in the world is out to get them. 1 don't think these advocates could last if they worked in the US, because here their fantasies and lies would not go unchallenged.
Politicians and diplomats have addressed the problem at their level, but what can we do about it? 1 see one thing in our favour: There are now many Japanese business families living in the US, particularly in such areas as Scarsdale and we have more opportunities to get to know each other than in the past.
We have no reasons to let 'Jewish conspiracy" advocates living in Japan come between us. We can reach out to each other despite those who try to implant prejudice in our minds. Thus, Americans can emancipate the Japanese from their possible preconceptions, and the Japanese can see with their own eyes how wrong these advocates are. When these Japanese return to Japan, they can spread the truth as civilian diplomat. If we can attain some success from doing this, 1 think we can help dry up the pens of bigotry.
Letters from Scarsdale